POLAND — Sixty-eight residents of Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland approved the proposed $20.7 million budget for Regional School Unit 16 on Thursday night.

There were 16 voters from Mechanic Falls, 17 from Minot and 35 from Poland.

“A very poor turnout tonight,” Poland Town Clerk Judy Akers said. “Less than 1 percent of our voters here to decide how to spend $20 million.”

According to the three town clerks, the total number of registered voters is 8,249.

An amendment offered by Steve Robinson to trim $65,000 from the administration budget was rejected.

The budget includes money for a district business manager.


Robinson said he supported hiring a business manager, but preferred a slightly different administrative model, which would replace the assistant superintendent with a curriculum coordinator.

He said a curriculum coordinator typically receives less than an assistant superintendent and the difference in pay would add up to a significant amount over time.

Superintendent Tina Meserve said the budget also includes $60,000 to support a new math curriculum and $50,000 to add Spanish language classes at Whittier Middle School in Poland.

The overall budget is about $750,000 more than this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The budget is projected to increase property taxes. In Mechanic Falls, the increase on a house valued at $100,000 would be $39.42; in Minot, $46.56; and in Poland, $44.33.

These amounts, Meserve said, are under the $50 limit officials set going into the budget process.

The article on additional local funds that exceed the state’s Essential Programs and Services model passed 40-14.

The budget goes to voters at polling stations in each town Tuesday, June 9.

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